Dr Jackie Leigh, Reader Teaching and Learning at the University of Salford, moved into academia from being a Senior Nurse Manager in the NHS. After qualifying as a registered nurse Jackie has since gained a BSc (Hons) in Nursing, MSc in Health Professional Education and completed her PhD in 2012. In February 2017 she became a Principal Fellow of the HEA, as well as recently being awarded a prestigious HEA National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) in September. The NTF award recognises, rewards and celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student learning and the teaching profession.
I became an HEA Fellow in 1999, then a Senior Fellow in 2015. I thought I’d been in education a long time and that I met the criteria for Principal Fellow so decided to apply. It was a good time to start the process as it’s similar to the route of becoming a future professor in teaching and learning.
I’m the first Reader in Teaching and Learning, Nursing and Health Professional Education here at Salford and I’m a strong advocate for supporting healthcare workforce development through teaching and learning excellence. As a strategic champion here at the University and Non-Executive Director at Healthwatch Salford, I’m able to influence the healthcare services being developed to improve patient experience in Salford.
The process of applying for Principal Fellow was a very useful reflective practice for me, especially considering the impact of my teaching on the student experience and consequently on patients. Ultimately what we do at university level has to be about the needs of the patients.
The timing has been great due to the incredible synergy between becoming an NTF, Principal Fellow and receiving a University of Salford Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. I feel I can now truly demonstrate the impact I’ve had at institutional and national level. It’s a win, win on both a personal and institutional level. For anyone seeking a chair in teaching and learning, I’d say becoming a Principal Fellow is a must; it gives you the evidence you need and is a great way of demonstrating national presence.
Since becoming National Teaching Fellow I’ve been working with the quality and enhancement team on academic leadership across the university which has been fantastic.
Becoming recognised through the Principal Fellowship definitely helps to open up a whole range of new opportunities. It’s really amazing what’s happened so far, and my recent award of a National Teaching Fellowship has also been fantastic.
I applied for National Teaching Fellow recognition so that I could showcase my achievements in teaching and learning, as well as emphasising my ability to enhance the student experience. I was also keen to highlight the quality of teaching at Salford and instil pride in both the nursing profession and student learning.
In the future I will continue to work with others to help them face the challenges of an evolving higher education system and the changes which are taking place within the field of nursing and health professional education.